TRUST Conference 2023

Trusting and Distrusting the Digital World in Imaginative Literature

University College Dublin, Ireland

7-9 June 2023

An Interdisciplinary Conference co-sponsored by the Irish Research Council and the UCD College of Arts and Humanities

Venue: LexIcon Library, Dun Laoghaire 

If you would like to attend the conference, please register here by 29th May 2023.
In addition, the opening keynote lecture by Professor William Davies will be free and open to the public.
To book a place for the lecture, please register here.

Wednesday 7th June 2023


19:00-19:15 – Welcome and Introductory Remarks


19:15-20:30 – Keynote Lecture

Chair: Adam Kelly (University College Dublin)


William Davies (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Trust and Authenticity in the Age of Infinite Data


Followed by Wine Reception

Thursday 8th June 2023


09:00-09:30 – Registration



09:30-11:00 – Parallel Session A


A1 Literary Authority in the Digital Public Sphere (Studio)

Chair: William Davies (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Daniel South (Independent Scholar)

Trust Me, I’m an Author: Literary Publicness in the Digital World


Trenton Ford & Caitlin Smith (Notre Dame University)

The Chronicler, the Coppermind, and Kickstarter: Trust and Authority in New Models of Fantasy Publishing


Jacob Smith (Birkbeck, University of London)

The Authority of “Literature” in the Digital Age


A2 Fictions of Digital Surveillance (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Curtis Runstedler (University of Stuttgart)


Arya Aryan (Istanbul Aydin University) – presenting online

Corporatisation of Privacy and Gamification of Surveillance in the Digital Age


Urszula Terentowicz-Fotyga (Marie Curie-Sklodowska University)

“We Don’t Trust Ourselves or Each Other to Make a Single Choice”: Digital 

Dystopia in Dave Eggers’s The Every


Erika Temperino (University of Pisa)

Exploring the Impact of Digital Surveillance on Society through Literature


11:00-11:30 – Coffee Break


11:30-13:00 – Parallel Session B


B1 Digital Affordances and Literary Form (Studio)

Chair: Jacob Miller (University College Dublin)


Adam Kelly (University College Dublin)

Trusting the Blockchain, Trusting the Novel


Rob Hawkes (Teesside University)

“Too Paranoid for You?”: Suspicion, Trust, and (Post/Meta?)Modern Money in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge


Sarah M. Abrahams (University of Bristol)

Trusting the Host: Instantiation and Annotation in David Foster Wallace’s Essay


B2 Film Genres and the Problem of Trust (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Alexander Kroll (University College Dublin)


Thomas Britt (George Mason University)

Horrors of Digital Communication in Found-Footage Supernatural Films


Milo Miller (University of Leipzig)

The Rise of Analog Horror: Manufacturing Trust in Alternate Reality Narratives


Harvey O’Brien (University College Dublin)

Converging in the Uncanny Valley: Emulating Authority in 21st-century Media


13:00-14:00 – Lunch Break


14:00-15:30 – Parallel Session C


C1 Trusting and Distrusting the Digital Image (Studio)

Chair: Monica Poole (Bunker Hill Community College)


Helen Penet (Université de Lille)

Trusting and Distrusting Digital Photography in Recent Irish Women’s Writing


Sam Kaufman (Kingston University)

Fix it in Post: Thylacine De-extinction and (mis-)Trust in the Future


Katarzyna Ostalska (University of Łódź)

Coming to Terms with Narrative Distrust in Recombinant Digital Writing


C2 Authorship, Trust, and Digital Collaboration (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Rob Hawkes (Teesside University)


Samantha Wallace (Babson College)

On ‘Authorship’: Trust within Novels of Artistic Collaboration


Bryn Tales (Teesside University)

‘It’s Time for Poets to Get Rich!’: The Rise and Fall of Etherpoets


Giulia Gallo (Sapienza University)

Shared Creativity and Distributed Authorship: Examples from Russian Web’s

Collaborative Writing


15:30-16:00 – Coffee Break


16:00-17:15 – Keynote Lecture

Chair: Katerina Pavlidi (University College Dublin)


Ellen Rutten (University of Amsterdam)

Online Sincerity after Communism


17:30 Meet for Walk on Pier


19:00 Conference Dinner, Royal Marine Hotel


Friday 9th June 2023

09:30-10:30 – Parallel Session D


D1 Teaching with Trust in the Digital World: A Reflective Inquiry (Studio)

Interactive session with Monica Poole (Bunker Hill Community College)


D2 Trust in Digital Forms of Social Organisation (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Iryna Kovalchuk (University College Dublin)


Philip J. Ryan (University College Dublin)

In [New] God We Trust: Trust and Increasingly Digitised Bureaucracy


LeeAnn Derdeyn (University of North Texas)

How to Be Healthy: Human and Digital Relationships in Ali Smith’s Autumn and Winter


10:30-11:00 – Coffee Break


11:00-12:30 – Parallel Session E


E1 Unreliable Narration in the Digital Age (Studio)

Chair: Ellen Rutten (University of Amsterdam)


Curtis Runstedler (University of Stuttgart)

Long Live the New Flesh: Technophobia, Compliancy, and Trust in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun


Katerina Pavlidi (University College Dublin)

“New Insincerity”: Literary Production, Criticism and Trust in Victor Pelevin’s iPhuck 10


Katherine Kelaidis (National Hellenic Museum) 

Are You My Reliable Narrator?: Reliable and Unreliable Narrators in the Age of Fake News and Personal Truths

E2 Trust in Digital Technologies of Cultural Circulation (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Chloe Green (University College Dublin)

Nathan Mulder (University College Dublin)

Enjoyment, Equipment, and the Digital Age: Towards a Levinasian Theory of Technology


Giorgia Garilli (University of York)

Binge-Watching as Style in Carmen Maria Machado’s Especially Heinous


Rimika Singhvi (IIS University, Jaipur)

The Digital and the Human in the Study of Literature


12:30-13:30 – Lunch Break


13:30-14:30 – Parallel Session F


F1 Queer(ing) Digital Trust Infrastructures (Studio)

Chair: Vanessa Iacocca (University College Dublin)


T. L. Cowan (University of Toronto) & Jas Rault (University of Toronto)

“There’s a Structure in Castrima that Glitters:” N.K. Jemisin’s Trans- Feminist and Queer (Un)findability and Trust Infrastructures for Networked Intimate Publics in The Fifth Season 


Dana Seitler (University of Toronto)

Hypertext as Queer Method: Interactive Fiction at the End of the World


F2 (Dis)Trusting New Media Performances (Meeting Room 4)

Chair: Diretnan Dikwal-Bot (University College Dublin)


T. Amiya (TKM College of Arts & Science, Kerala) – presenting online

Authenticity of Online Self-Presentation: Vlogging as an Autobiographical Act


S. K. Sabada (York University)

Habitual Digital Liar or Performance Artist? Critical Meditations on Performance, Truth, and Digital Spaces in ARGs


14:30-15:30 – Roundtable Discussion

Chair: Katerina Pavlidi (University College Dublin)


Participants: William Davies (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Ellen Rutten (University of Amsterdam)

Adam Kelly (University College Dublin)